Alexa now has the ability to let T-Mobile subscribers make and receive phone calls on dedicated devices hands-free. The new feature comes in the form of an Alexa skill, which can link your T-Mobile service directly to your Alexa Account. The new feature joins the other big US carriers AT&T and Verizon in enabling Alexa to handle phone calls.
”This is completely free for T-Mobile customers and it’s fully available to all Alexa customers today,” wrote T-Mobile spokesperson Trang Nguyen in an email to The Verge. In comparison, Verizon still charges you $5 per month to use its Alexa skill.
You can enable the new feature by opening your Alexa app and then going to More > Settings > Communication. Then, under accounts, select T-Mobile and follow along to link your accounts. You can also set it up by searching for the T-Mobile skill in the Alexa skill store.
There are lots of ways you can take hands-free calls when you’re at home cooking or doing other busy tasks, but that often involves having your smartphone in your proximity or a Bluetooth-powered speaker that may not be at the ready. However, if you have an Alexa smart speaker like an Echo in your home, it can be much easier to make or answer a call.
After setup is complete, you can then say commands like “Alexa, call John” or dial numbers by saying, “Alexa, dial 1-800-255-3700.” Incoming calls will be announced, and you can then say, “Alexa, answer call” or “Alexa, dismiss call.” Connecting the phone service to Alexa also enables emergency services, so you can say, “Alexa, call 911.”
When you first complete setup of the new T-Mobile skill, it will enable hands-free calling on all Alexa-enabled devices you’re linked to by default and will ring on all of them, too. You might not want this if you have, say, an Echo device in a room only your kids hang out in. Thankfully, it can be turned off by going to More > Settings > Communication. Select T-Mobile, then you can choose which specific devices you want to use with the phone service as well as turn off incoming calls to select devices.